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What’s new in the new RML contract?

On Monday, May 2, 2011, we announced the new RML contract, and we were delighted to receive so many messages from you. We cannot thank you enough for sending your congratulations, thanks, and excitement for the future. All of us in the RML office are busy with tasks to set up our new program, and we would like you to know our plans. We thought a simple question and answer format might be a good way to start.

Why is there a “new contract”?
Every five years, the National Library of Medicine issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) for libraries to serve as the Regional Medical Library (RML) in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM). The UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library has served as RML for the Pacific Southwest Region since 1969, and throughout that time the library has developed successful proposals to provide services for NN/LM members.

The UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library was recently awarded the contract for the next five year period, May 1, 2011 through April 30, 2016. The library will serve as Regional Medical Library for Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the U.S. Territories in the Pacific (American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam).

Changes on the RMLs
There are eight Regional Medical Libraries within the NN/LM. There has been a change in the RML for the Middle Atlantic Region, with the University of Pittsburgh receiving the contract for 2011 – 2016. In addition, the contract for the NLM National Training Center (formerly the National Training Center and Clearinghouse) has been awarded to the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library of the University of Utah.

Changes in personnel
RML staff will remain the same except that Sharon Dennis will no longer serve as Technology Coordinator. Instead, she will serve as Assistant Director of the NLM National Training Center (NTC). Most of you are aware of Sharon’s exceptional teaching skills through her webinars and presentations. During the next contract, the NTC will expand its offerings to include distance education classes on PubMed and TOXNET, so we are not losing her but will gain a great deal instead.

Position titles and responsibilities for other RML staff have also been updated to meet changing needs. The new position titles are:

  • Alan Carr, Member Services and Exhibits Coordinator
  • Kay Deeney, Educational Services Coordinator
  • Kelli Ham, Consumer Health and Technology Coordinator
  • Lori Tagawa, Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Marco Tamase, Member Services and Technology Assistant

Julie Kwan continues as Associate Director, Melina Duenas Perez as Office Manager and Gwen Hummel as Administrative Assistant for Accounting.

Membership Status and Certificates
During the 2006 – 2011 contract, DOCLINE participation was required for Full membership. In the 2011 – 2016 contract, Full members can be “any health sciences library or health-related information center, institution, or organization that: (1) is regularly staffed; (2) has an Internet connection; (3) has its own collection of health sciences materials (books, journals, audiovisuals, electronic databases); (4) provides information services to health professionals and/or the general public.” DOCLINE participation is no longer required although Full members are encouraged to provide document delivery service to their own users and/or to unaffiliated users.

During the first year of the contract, we will conduct a membership renewal drive during which we will update your membership information and issue new certificates for 2011 – 2016.

New Initiatives
There are a number of new initiatives in which NLM is very interested. These areas include:

  • A new emphasis on national and regional programs for retaining and preserving print serials and monographs (this will primarily affect Resource Libraries),
  • Programs to assist information professionals in promoting evidence-based health information,
  • Programs to promote the roles of libraries in institutions with e-science initiatives,
  • Programs with DHHS Regional Extension Centers,
  • The development of culturally and linguistically appropriate resources, and
  • Programs that promote the roles of libraries in institutions that have received or are seeking NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs).

New opportunities for outreach funding
In mid May, we will formally announce Express Outreach Award funding opportunities ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. We have streamlined our application and award procedures. We look forward to your creative efforts in supporting the NN/LM mission.

Promotional Items
In the new contract, our budget for purchasing promotional items is greatly reduced. We will continue to supply promotional items, however we will send out smaller quantities. The order form will provide detailed information.

Other goodies
At the end of May, we will announce our eBoard images. You may be interested in this if you have a flat panel display and are looking for content for it. These images are on health information topics and NLM resources and services. They are all marked with the NN/LM logo which will help brand your library as a member of the NN/LM.

On a final note
As with our colleagues in federal agencies, our budget has been reduced from the last contract. However, we are firmly committed to providing you with services and resources to help you in your roles as health information providers. We remain ready and willing to do so and look forward to our continued relationships.

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